From Tuesday, the raft of tough new measures come in the face of rising COVID-19 cases, pressure on the NHS and a new variant of the virus – including a full lockdown similar to that of last March.
During a statement tonight (Monday) Mr Johnson said the new variant was “both frustrating and alarming”.
“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than any time since the start of the pandemic,” he said.
“My thoughts are with all those who’ve lost loved ones, with most of the country already under extreme measures, it’sclear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control.”
Under the new measures:
People must stay at home with leaving only allowed for limited reasons such as shopping for essentials
Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges must move to remote provision of learning and are not expected to reopen until after February half term after the Prime Minister accepted that they could be “vectors for transmission” of the virus. Vulnerable children and those of critical workers will be permitted to attend school. Early years settings can remain open.
The clinically extremely vulnerable must again shield
For more details visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
The government believes the move is now needed because the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.
The new virus is now between 50-70 per cent more transmissable, and deaths have risen by almost 20 per cent.
Mr Johnson said the government would provide support to schools including those facing delayed exams and he said key summer exams were cancelled this year due to the closures.
He said, however, there was one difference this time round, the roll-out of the new vaccines, and shared his hopes that that would help end the lockdown sooner.
He added: “I really do believe that we’re entering the last phase of the struggle because with every job that goes into ourarms tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people.”
On Monday, national cases increased by 58,784 to 2,713,563 – the highest daily case number ever recorded – while deaths rose by 407 to 75,431.
The UK COVID-19 Alert Level has moved from Level 4 to Level 5 due to the number of cases rising and a risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed.
There were 501 new coronavirus cases and five COVID-related deaths reported in Greater Lincolnshire including 407 new cases in Lincolnshire, 54 in North Lincolnshire and 40 in North East Lincolnshire.
Scotland and Northern Ireland were entering similar lockdowns too.